• James Riley
    2.9k
    I'm looking for people outside my brain housing group to provide their insights on the following:

    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Natural Rule (I made up): Do unto others as you actually do unto yourself.

    The former has an expressed desire: "would" whereas the latter does not. Both provide opportunities for social baselining and incentives that *could* work to modify behavior. Are they the same in that regard?

    There are many permutations that I'm having difficulty working through in an analytic, critical fashion.

    Assume you lack self-respect but want it. Assume you lack self-respect and don't want it. Assume you esteem honesty over deceit. If you have self-respect and want respect, is what you "want" superior to the facts? Is what you want superior to what you think others might want? How do you know how others want to be treated if they don't show you by the way they treat themselves?

    Is one more selfish than the other?

    Is one more respectful of self?

    Is one more respectful of others?

    Any other angles of thought?

    Thanks in advance for any input.
  • Hanover
    9.5k
    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Natural Rule (I made up): Do unto others as you actually do unto yourself.
    James Riley

    I think the Golden Rule states it more clearly and I think it overcomes the problems of the masochist who enjoys pain, as if that person ought impose pain on others because that's what he likes being done unto him. The Natural Rule can be interpreted this way as well.

    As long as either rule evokes a sense of empathy, where you are to place yourself in the shoes of the other and ask whether what you're about to do is what they want done to them, then you're within the Golden Rule. So, what the masochist does not do is bring pain to those who don't want it because that's not what the masochist wants. The masochist likes pain only to be brought upon those who desire it. His analysis of the question of whether he should bring pain to Bob would be determined not by asking himself if he liked pain, but whether Bob is the sort that likes pain, and then he'd decide whether to administer pain.

    To analyze this in an other way would lead to absurd results. For example, I might like to read philosophy books, but the Golden Rule doesn't suggest that I should therefore buy everyone philosophy books or to impose upon them all my quirks. The Golden Rule would leave me asking what sort of thing would that person like, and I would be asked to place myself in their shoes.
  • Tom Storm
    5.8k
    As long as either rule evokes a sense of empathy, where you are to place yourself in the shoes of the other and ask whether what you're about to do is what they want done to them, then you're within the Golden Rule.Hanover

    Precisely. That's how I understand it. It is not intended to be read in concrete terms, eg., 'I like X therefore everyone must get X.' It's more, 'I like respectful treatment (which acknowledges my preferences), therefore others should receive the same respectful treatment.' Which may be why the negative formulation - Hillel the Elder -“That which is hateful unto you, do not do to your neighbour' might be easier to convey. I think some call this formulation the Silver Rule.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    Is what you want superior to what you think others might want?James Riley

    Obviously! Don't we all think that? But that doesn't mean I can give myself everything I want, or can ever give what I want to other people in all cases. In general social terms, I try to give people their personal space, attention when they have something to communicate, consideration and respect for their autonomy and self-awareness, even though I can't get those things for myself and have learned not expect other people to give me the same, and to appreciate the ones do.
    For example, I try never to tell other people what they think or what their motives are or what they ought to want. I do tell them when I believe they're wrong in matters of fact or interpretation, and I make it a policy to challenge misrepresentation of my opinion.
    That's one thing I do for myself that I don't usually do for others. The problem there is that, even when I'm 99% sure someone else is being misinterpreted or maligned, I'm never sure they'd welcome my advocacy. I don't trust myself to discern clearly the fine line between sympathy and intrusion.
    I can't always tell what other people want.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Natural Rule (I made up): Do unto others as you actually do unto yourself.
    James Riley

    Masochists taken care of, but what about suicide?

    My own version of the golden rule
    1. Positive formulation: Do unto others what a normal person would want done unto him/her.

    2. Negative formulation: Do not do unto others what a normal person wouldn't want done unto him/her.
  • Manuel
    3.1k


    Hey James, nice to see you around again! :victory:
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    Thanks. I was writing a novel and left this forum to better focus. Now I'm going back through what I wrote to tighten things up. I needed some help and you people never fail to come through. I look forward to mulling over responses. :nerd:
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Natural Rule (I made up): Do unto others as you actually do unto yourself.
    James Riley
    Both "Rules" have the same problem of assuming 'preferences for yourself are also the preferences of others'. I second 's substitution: the negative formulation of Confucius / Hillel the Elder:
    What you find hateful – harmful – do not do to anyone.
    This form of reciprocity doesn't depend on 'projecting personal preference' but depends on recognizing species defects (i.e. what's bad, or harmful, for our kind) instead. Minimal guesswork, less self-centered, and, IME, easier to practice even in violent situations (e.g self-defense). This is primarily a preventative moral principle (i.e. "good cop" or carrot) in practice that's made more effective, IMO, as the alternative to the 'Iron Rule' of lex talionis (i.e. "bad cop" or stick). After all, we're mostly primates, not angels, right?

    Hope that's the kind of feedback you're looking for.

    Welcome back, JR. :cool:
  • Vera Mont
    836
    I have an idea what normal people want, but my normal may be different from theirs.
  • Janus
    13.2k
    Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Natural Rule (I made up): Do unto others as you actually do unto yourself.
    James Riley

    Compassionate Rule: Do unto others as the best evidence indicates they would wish you to do unto them.

    The only caveat would be that you ought not to act in ways harmful to others, even if all the evidence indicates that they would wish you to do so. This just means, for example, that compassion does not entail that you should support others in their self-destructiveness.

    Like most things in life ethical treatment of others is more art than science, and thus difficult to capture in a formula.

    Good to see you again, James.
  • Vera Mont
    836
    Like most things in life ethical treatment of others is more art than science, and thus difficult to capture in a formula.Janus

    Pay attention. Do what seems to need doing in the moment.
  • Janus
    13.2k
    Pay attention. Do what seems to need doing in the moment.Vera Mont

    Yes, no strict formula, but rather the exercise of a capacity, of what Aristotle called phronesis, usually translated as "practical wisdom".
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k


    The golden rule has a target audience, a special clique of rare individuals viz. the virtuous.
  • James Riley
    2.9k
    Thank you all. You gave me some gas for the tank. Back at it . . .
  • Paine
    1.1k

    Ah yes, the power of subtraction.

    Like my old Sifu said while teaching martial arts:

    "if you are genuinely interested in self-defense, try not being such an asshole."
  • 180 Proof
    10.9k
    Like my old Sifu said while teaching martial arts:

    "if you are genuinely interested in self-defense, try not being such an asshole."
    Paine
    :fire:
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